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Municipally Speaking Newsletter: November 2011

We the North
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Scare me back to health

Attendance Programs are programs that employers use to address what they see as a problem…excessive absenteeism. These programs usually involve a benchmark threshold that draws the employee into the program and a series of steps that may lead to non-disciplinary dismissal. These programs are often implemented by employers to limit the employees’ use of sick leave.

Employers have a right to make rules about attendance at work; but, these rules must be consistent with your Collective Agreement, must be consistent with legislation, must be clear and cannot be used to discipline you simply for being sick.

Attendance Programs must:

  • Be consistent with legislation, i.e. ESA; Ontario Human Rights Code
  • Be consistent with the Collective Agreement;
  • Not be disciplinary

ASP – Attendance Support Programs
AMP – Attendance Management Programs
ASMP – Attendance Support Management Program
ASMPP – Attendance Support Management Pilot Program

(A duck by a different name is still a duck)

Knowledge is power

The Sector Executive passed a motion at the September 26, 27 meeting to write all Regional VPs asking them to include the SSP/ASMP in their regional educational offerings.

Speak with your EBM.

Your Executive would like to hear from locals on how they did in bargaining and who has ratified their CA.

We are working at compiling information to show a comparison of language in Sector 13 Locals’/Units’ Collective Agreements and will seek the assistance of OPSEU Research Department. This initiative will be most beneficial to Locals/Units in bargaining.

Working Alone!!!

Excerpts from OPSEU H&S Unit, Jan 2009

What is “Working Alone?”

Working alone can be defined as “the performance of any work function by a worker in circumstances where the worker cannot be seen or heard by another worker in the event of injury, ill health, or emergency.”

Why can it be dangerous?

While it is not always hazardous to work alone, it can be when other circumstances are present. Whether a situation is a high or low risk will depend on the location, type of work, interaction with the public, or the potential consequences of an emergency, accident, injury, etc. This wide variety of circumstances makes it important to assess each situation individually….

What does the Law Say?

Unlike most other provinces, Ontario has no specific regulations that address working alone, other than in specific situations such as confined space. Ontario workers rely on the general provisions in Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) that mandates that employers must take “reasonable precautions” to protect workers….

What are “Reasonable Precautions” for working alone?

Principles:
• First consideration should be given to eliminate working alone;
• Some types of work (or duties) should not be performed alone

Sample Collective Agreement Language

The employer shall, where reasonable, avoid situations requiring workers to work alone..
Working alone is the performance of any work function by a worker in circumstances where the worker cannot be seen or heard by another worker in the event of injury, ill health or emergency.

In cases where a worker is required to work alone, the employer shall, before assigning the worker to work alone, identify hazards to that worker, take measures to eliminate the hazard if possible, or to minimize the risk of the hazard to the lowest reasonable level using engineering controls, administrative controls, or a combination of engineering and administrative controls through measures, policies and procedures, developed in consultation with and regularly reviewed by the Joint Health and Safety Committee and/or Health and Safety Representative.

In cases where a worker is required to work alone, the employer shall, before assigning the worker to work alone provide training, developed in consultation with the Joint Health and Safety Committee and/or Health and Safety Representative, to the worker regarding actual or potential hazards arising from the work, and regarding measures, policies, equipment, and procedures that exist to prevent harm to that worker.

On the Light Side…

If you don’t know what to do; walk fast and look worried.

Words from the Chair

I would like to thank all the members that took the time to attend the BPS Conference in June. It was an informative and productive three days and we have already started to work on plans for 2013.

The Sector Executive met at the end of September and have set ourselves some goals for the next two years. We are looking forward to a very productive term. Please feel free to contact any of the Executive members if you have any questions.

Tara

SECTOR 13 EXECUTIVE 2009 – 2011

Chair: Tara Langford
Vice-Chair: Peter Pautler
Secretary: Patti Hicks
Treasurer: Pam Schmidt
Political Action/Communications Co-ordinator: Diane DeJong

Original authorized for distribution:

Tara Langford, Sector 13 Chair
Warren (Smokey) Thomas, President

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